Serpolet (Thymus Serpyllum), Ground Thyme

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The thyme (Thymus serpyllum) is a more wild plant than its cousin thyme (Thymus vulgaris) that we meet in the four corners of France, but especially in the south of France and its garrigue. Pushing everywhere on the edges of the road, in the fields and in the mountains, this lamiacea is characterized by its stronger and more complex aromas. With its exceptionally low branched branches, the serpolet allows use as a groundcover for its upholstering effect; not to mention that it does not fear freezing (-15° C).

wild thyme (Thymus serpyllum)

Its pink-purple flowers grouped in terminal spikes are rich in nectar and therefore very popular with bees and bumblebees. However, the interest for this sub-shrub comes mainly from its evergreen and fragrant leaves. Indeed, these are very used in the kitchen as well as from a medicinal point of view.

Fresh or dry, the serpolet is an excellent flavor enhancer for meat dishes, in sauce, but it is better to add it at the end of cooking because its volatile essence evaporates as soon as the heat increases. Its aromatic essences (thymol, carvacrol, linalool...) make it possible to extract a particularly useful essential oil. In aromatherapy, as well as herbal medicine, the serpolet is very popular. It has properties substantially identical to those of thyme namely antiseptic airways, digestive and tonic.

  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Type: perennial shrub
  • Origin: Mediterranean Basin
  • Color of the flower: pink, purple, white
  • sowing: April to May
  • cutting: May-June and September
  • Planting: spring
  • Flowering: May to July
  • Height: 3 to 20 cm

Ideal soil and exposure for planting wild thyme in the garden

From the moment the serpolet has heat and sun rays optimized, a light soil, stony, even poor, will do just fine. Moreover, the more the land is drained, the better.

Sowing, cutting and planting wild thyme in the garden

The seedlings are done in the spring, in a cold box then will be transplanted into buckets before being put in place the following spring. Better to cut stems in May-June or September, they are very easy to succeed. The natural layering also makes it possible to collect marcots to make them root in buckets, in the spring or at the end of summer.

The planting is done in March-April by spacing the feet of 30 cm approximately.

Care and cultivation advice of the serpolet

Wild thyme likes climates and dry environments. No watering is necessary even when it does not rain, except very long drought. Weed if necessary.

By against a size can be done after the bloom to keep a beautiful silhouette. Make sure that the serpolet does not overgrow the surrounding plants.

Harvesting, conservation and use of wild thyme

The serpolet is harvested as and when needed and is drying. It is used mainly in infusion (10 to 20g / liter of water for 10 minutes) to benefit from its medicinal properties. He perfumes the kitchen in a bouquet garni, as well as thyme.

Like thyme, it cleanses the mouth and cleans the gums and teeth.

Diseases, pests and parasites of the serpolet

The serpolet is not afraid of diseases or invading insects.

Location and favorable association of the serpolet

In massive, in pot, in vat, in the vegetable garden, on a rock, between the stones of a wall or on the border, the serpolet finds its place everywhere and more specifically in the gardens of aromatics.

Among the many existing species, let us mention Thymus serpyllum 'coccineum', Thymus serpyllum 'alba', very lining with white flowers, Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin'like a carpet of moss with pink flowers in the heart of summer, Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz', with silver foliage, Thymus serpyllum 'Lanuginosus' with downy leaves...

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Video: Wild Thyme | Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, Anticancer, Antitumor, Cytotoxic, Respiratory, Gastrointest.

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